Before the first iPhone was released in June 2007, it was remarkably easy to question just how large the consumer market for smart phones would be. Similar questions are being raised about “wearable” internet-connected devices but perhaps with the iPhone lesson in mind, a growing number of companies are unveiling offerings targeting the nascent wearables space. The latest: Google.
Google has begun distributing a new release of Google Play Services to all Android devices, and along with it made a new SDK available to developers with a handful of new APIs. The main additions include a Google Analytics API, Tag Manager, Address API, Google Drive API, and updated support for Google Play Games. Google Play Services 4.3 is being pushed to hardware already running Android 2.3 Gingerbread and up. This encompasses the bulk of smartphones and tablets in use today.
Facebook’s $19 billion acquisition of cross-platform messaging service WhatsApp was obviously a boon for WhatsApp’s founders, employees and investors, but it also proved to be a good thing for several of WhatsApp’s biggest competitors.
With the upcoming release of the new iPhone 5S, mobile health applications and quantified self capacities take another leap forward. Developers will have a new CoreMotion API through which they can access a stream of personal health and sensor tracking data from a smartphone, even while the iPhone is at rest.
Seed-funded San Francisco startup Ink has launched a new development framework that connects apps and data within an iOS device. In contrast to API integration platform as a service offerings, Ink links app tasks locally on an end user’s iPhone or iPad.
Ebook Glue creates simple publishing tools that ease the process of readying content for electronic reading devices. Its flagship product, the Ebook Glue API, constitutes a straightforward tool that converts content to an ebook that its easily read on an ereader (iPad, Kindle, Nook, iPhone, Android device, etc.). As long as the content can be sent over HTTP, Ebook Glue can convert content to an ebook.
Appy Pie, cloud based mobile apps builder, has announced the inclusion of two new music APIs for its Do-it-Yourself mobile application platform. Integration with the SoundCloud and Beatport APIs will allow users to access their music libraries remotely without consuming mobile device memory.
Remember when Mark Zuckerberg blamed the problematic old Facebook mobile app–dubbed “freakishly slow” by some–on “betting too much on HTML 5?” So does backend-as-a-service (BAAS) provider Sencha, and to rebut Zuckerberg’s assertion that using HTML5 was “one of [Facebook's] biggest mistakes,” Sencha built its own mobile webapp, Fastbook, to demonstrate that HTML5 is ready for prime time.
Evernote recently updated its SDKs for both iOS and Android. With both updates, Evernote hopes to simplify API integration and enhance app development around the Evernote platform. As Evernote reaches towards 20,000 developers on its platform, streamlined libraries and simplified code sets are critical for entry into new markets.
BlindSquare founder, Ilkka Pirttimaa, once browsed over Wikipedia’s Augmented Reality article and realized the concept focused solely on vision. Pirttimma believed the concept could expand to audio; thus, the idea for BlindSquare was born. The BlindSquare app provides “a new solution that combines the latest technology to help the daily life of the blind.” BlindSquare pulls data from the FourSquare API and alerts users of restaurants, stores, and other locations surrounding them via audio instructions.